Description: The Palm Course (nicknamed the cobra for its venomous bite) was designed my Ronald Fream and opened for play in 1986. Since then it has undergone a redesign with complete new green complexes and introduction of better positioning of tee's. This all took place throughout 2015 to get the course ready for top tournament play once again and although the course has played very wet in previous years it has certainly showcased itself well and we can expect very much the same this year.
The course is generally undulating throughout, water hazards feature on several holes, palm trees line the fairways and if none of this tests the players the hot and extremely humid climate will do. Described by Dean Burmester to be similar to playing golf whilst in a sauna.. Normally I'd say rather them than me but right now that sounds a lot better than sitting in lectures and preparing for assessments.
Par: 72 (4 x par 5's, 4 x par 3's and 10 par 4's)
Length: 7186 yards
Par 5's: Two comfortably reachable by entire field, 1 dependant on a great drive and the other measuring 604 yards reachable by only a hand full.
Par 4's: With good tee shots players should be hitting wedge or less into the green on eight occasions during their round, the other 2 par 4's are just under 500 yards but players will still be hitting mid irons into these holes.
Par 3's: All play around 200 yards in length
Greens: Tiff Eagle Bermuda, Running at 12'6", Small, undulating and very grainy.
Fairways: Very undulating with an average width of 35 yards. Lined with Bermuda rough and palm trees.
Key Stats and Attributes
For me this is very much an all rounders golf course, all facets of the game are tested and a successful candidate will need all aspects firing at once.
Across previous years that events have been played on this course including last year. There has been no stand out performance stat that leans towards one style of player or another.
That being said I do feel this is a week to take a bit of gamble, ground conditions are softer and any player who puts wedge in their hand more often will create far more chances even if playing from the rough.
Driving Distance or Accuracy: Both styles will work here, your short knockers that find the fairway more often will have better control of the ball and maybe make a few less mistakes but even approach shots from the fairway are no pushover thanks to awkward stances on these undulating fairways. Your bombers may find the rough a little more often and drop a shot or 2 from being blocked out by palm trees, but with softer greens and wedge in hand getting in to the pins I may fancy their chances of having more kick in birdies throughout the week
Ball Striking: Probably the key stat for getting your players through the cut, anyone who hits greens in regulation time in time out will obviously avoid making bogeys but shouldn't find themselves too far off the lead. However the only potential downside to this is a lack of converted chances and frustration on the greens if they are left with longer challenging putts all week... and a lack of point scoring if not in the mix come Sunday afternoon.
Wedge Play: The way this course is laid out players could be hitting wedge or less on up to 8 of the 10 par 4's. Those dialled in with their wedge game should then tick that proximity box and make plenty of birdies... A couple of year back Bernd Weisberger demonstrated this perfectly when he made 9 birdies on the bounce.
Proximity To Hole: With the greens being as tricky and undulating as they are, most birdies will come from shots that are hit close to the pin. I want aggressive style players who are not afraid to take on every pin location and pick up strokes where others have played to the heart of the green and worked harder for their 2 putt par.
Form: Coming into a course like this I think form and maybe more importantly confidence will feature highly. I want players who are almost on auto pilot when it comes down to making birdies and when looking at the field I think it would be wise to build your line ups around those that make cuts with their eyes closed no matter what course or where in the world they are playing.
Course Fit/History: Although this is only the 4th year of the Maybank Championship and 3rd time that this event has been played at this venue, we do have further history to go on from the Malaysian Open played here in 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2009.
My DraftKings Picks.
Jorge Campillo $11,000
Fabrizio Zanotti $10,200
$9,000 - $10,000
Jordan Smith $9,500
Alex Bjork $9,200
$8,000 - $9,000
Kurt Kitiyama $8,900
Gaganjeet Bhullar $8,000
$7,500 - $8,000
Aaron Rai $7,800
Nicolas Colsaerts $7,600
$7,000 - $7,500
Ernie Els - $7,400
Thongchai Jaidee - $7,100
Nino Bertasio $7,000
Adilson Da Silva $6,600
My Betting Tips
Alexander Bjork 30/1 (1 point e/w)
David Lipsky 50/1 (1 point e/w)
Jbe Kruger 225/1 (0.5 points e/w)
First Round Leader
Thomas Pieters 25/1 (1 point e/w)
Thomas Detry 40/1 (1 point e/w)
Nicolas Colsaerts 66/1 (0.5 points e/w)
Alex Bjork and Patrick Reed 725/1 (0.5 points e/w)
One and Done